The Internal Revenue Service is having trouble coping with an enormous backlog of requests for offers in compromise from taxpayers who are struggling with the tough economy.

A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the combination of the weak economy, and efforts by the IRS to promote its OIC program for helping taxpayers pay off a portion of their outstanding tax debts, has increased the number of requests for offers by 28 percent between fiscal years 2007 and 2011. At the same time, the resources available to work on the offers have decreased, creating an inventory backlog and delaying responses to taxpayers.

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